It is estimated that as many as 60,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease each year. With both Michael J. Fox and the late Mohammed Ali living in the spotlight with Parkinson’s Disease, they were able to shed some light shed on the Disease and it’s devastating effects on the human body.
And while there is still no definitive cure for Parkinson’s disease, Parkinson’s research continues to work towards the goal of finding one. And it’s through those efforts that scientists have recently discovered that although Parkinson’s symptoms are primarily on motor function, the disease may actually stem from dysfunction in the gut.
Parkinson’s Research for Early Detection
The new study, which was presented at the 2016 Society for Neuroscience meeting in San Diego, was both a nationally and privately funded worldwide research effort. Scientists working on this study from all over the world discovered that Parkinson’s may be derived from an unlikely place: the gut.
Gut bacteria has been a central focus for researchers across many different diseases over the past few years, and now they have found that it might also be linked to a Parkinson’s Disease cause. This new Parkinson’s Disease study aimed to explore “whether clumps of alpha-synuclein, called fibrils, could spread from the gut to the brain, potentially via the vagus nerve, which is involved in controlling peripheral organs like the liver and the spleen.” Their findings were positive.
Researchers have known for over a decade that one of the early Parkinson’s symptoms is constipation and changes in digestive health. These changes have been reported in people living with Parkinson’s Disease as much as ten years prior to tremors appearing. By testing their theory with mice, researchers found that gut dysfunction, specifically synuclein fibres, travel from the gut to the brain, causing the neurological damage that leads to the loss of motor function that you develop with Parkinson’s Disease.
Early Parkinson’s Symptoms
Tremors are not necessarily the first sign of Parkinson’s Disease. These are some of the early symptoms to look for, according to the National Parkinson’s Foundation:
Should you be experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, be sure to speak with your physician about them immediately and talk about the next steps to take should it, in fact, be Parkinson’s Disease.
Looking Forward, Staying Safe
Until a definitive cure is discovered for those living with Parkinson’s Disease, Medical Guardian can provide round the clock medical monitoring services for those living with the disease, in case of emergencies.